A Peterborough landlord has been forced to pay fines of over £12,000 after pleading guilty to three offences related to a rental property.
Mohammed Tanveer pleaded guilty to illegally evicting a tenant from his home in Princes Street in February 2016 in front of Peterborough Magistrates’ Court last Monday. The court was also told of how Tanveer allowed the same property to become occupied while subject to a Prohibition Order. Other offences committed by the landlord included the failure to provide information and documentation to the local authority.
A complaint about an illegal eviction and the general state of disrepair of the property led to an inspection from Prevention and Enforcement Service officers last February. Upon visiting the home, serious safety hazards were uncovered, including the fact that it had been converted into two flats without meeting planning and building regulations. Fire safety and security measures were also found to be inadequate in the property, and the heating and power facilities were poor. The overcrowded property was also in breach of several regulations under the Housing Act 2004.
With regard to the illegal eviction, the court was told of how the occupying tenant had returned home from work one evening to find that the locks had been changed, despite his possessions being still inside. The property had been re-let to a new tenant without his consent.
Prevention and Enforcement Service officers served a Prohibition Order in May, restricting the use of the entire property for residential purposes. However, officers were told in July 2016 that new tenants were residing in the property, unaware of the Prohibition Order.
The Peterborough landlord was twice ordered to provide information and documentation to the council to declare his interest in the property in question along with any others. He failed to respond to these requests.
Summing up the court highlighted the unpleasant and undue distress the illegal eviction had caused the victim. Peterborough landlord Tanveer was ordered to pay £4,000 compensation to the victim along with a £3,500 fine for the illegal eviction in recognition of the ‘undue distress’ caused. He was also ordered to pay the council’s £4,344 costs and a victim surcharge of £170.
Senior Prevention & Enforcement Officer Peter Bezant said: ‘Residents’ safety and well-being is a top council priority and this is an excellent result which is reflected in the level of fine and compensation awarded to the victim by the court. We hope the case serves as a warning that the council will not tolerate poor and illegal practices in the housing sector. This was an awful ordeal for the victim and we will continue with a zero tolerance policy for offenders, prosecuting those who flout the law.’